Field Crop Irrigation

Irrigation management information for grain, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops.

Fact Sheets and Web Articles

Terms and Tables for Water Measurements and Management

Soil salinity is a measure of the total amount of soluble salt in soil. As salinity levels increase, plants extract water less easily from soil, aggravating water stress conditions. High soil salinity can also cause nutrient imbalances, result in the accu...

4R’s of Irrigation Management

The research community and fertilizer industry have developed and utilized a framework termed “4R nutrient management” to help improve fertilizer stewardship. For decades, national and international organizations and institutes such as The Fertilizer Inst...

Defense Against Drought

Utah’s climate can often be harsh and unpredictable. As the nation’s second driest state, Utah is commonly subject to droughts. Extensive statewide droughts have often lasted 5 to 6 years. It is imperative that farmers are well prepared to defend against ...

Energy Conservation with Irrigation Water Management

Irrigators in Utah experienced rapidly increasing energy costs from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. These costs remain relatively high. Those who are pumping from deep wells are particularly interested in ways to cut back on energy use without doing away...

Fertigation Facts

The use of fertigation for field and horticultural crops is increasing in Utah. Fertigation can be an effective method for improving nutrient stewardship and improving crop yield and quality. Keys to successful fertigation include irrigation system mainte...

Grass Pasture Response to Water and Nitrogen

The objective of this project is to study the response of pasture grass varieties to weather, irrigation, and fertility in a field experimental plot at a high elevation. The water variable is accomplished with a line source sprinkler irrigation system. Tw...

Irrigation of Safflower in Northern Utah

Most safflower in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho is grown under dryland conditions; however, irrigated safflower can provide higher yields and increase net returns. Two perceived concerns with irrigated safflower are an increase the severity of Alternar...

Maintenance of Wheelmove Irrigation Systems

A wheelmove irrigation system, also known as wheel line, side roll, or lateral roll system, constitutes a major investment on the part of a farming operation. Regular maintenance of wheelmove equipment will reduce repair costs, help the system last longer...

Mobile Drip Irrigation for Pivots and Laterals

Mobile Drip Irrigation (MDI) or Precision Mobile Drip Irrigation (PMDI) technologies for pivot and lateral/linear sprinklers have been on the market for over 15 years, and has been researched for over 40 years (Rawlins, 1974). Renewed interest has surface...

Salinity and Plant Tolerance

Soil salinity is a measure of the total amount of soluble salt in soil. As salinity levels increase, plants extract water less easily from soil, aggravating water stress conditions. High soil salinity can also cause nutrient imbalances, result in the accu...

Sodic Soils in Utah

Sodic soils are soils with excess sodium. Sodic soils are encountered with increasing frequency in Utah, usually in the lower, flatter areas of our valleys. Sodic soils probably developed over many years when the water table was high and the soils were to...

Strategies for Deficit Irrigation of Forage Crops

Deficit irrigation strategies with varying effectiveness can be employed in many cases to maximize production and profit. These strategies can include modifying irrigation schedules, concentrating irrigation to critical crop growth stages, reducing rates,...

Variable Frequency Drives for Irrigation Pumps

In the correct applications, VFDs can be a great way to save energy and protect and extend the life of irrigation pumps and motors. VFD economics will be highly dependent on the conditions on each field or set of fields. Considering the complete costs of ...

Water Rights in Utah

If you are connected to a municipal system, your water is probably categorized as “culinary or municipal water” and is used for everything from drinking and bathing to washing the car to watering tomatoes. However the Utah Division of Water Rights takes a...

Other Extension Resources

Mulit-State Surface Irrigation Information
Surface Irrigation Manual from The University of California
Economics of Irrigation Systems from Texas A&M University
USU Extension Drought Page
USU Extension Crops Page
USU Extension Dirt Diggers Digest